The last time the University of Miami played Bethune-Cookman before Wednesday, the Hurricanes, coming off a five-game win streak, got blasted for six runs in the first inning — four of those with no outs — for an embarrassing loss.
Three weeks and a day later, the Canes gave their own version of a parting gift at Alex Rodriguez Park: a six-run fourth inning sparked by a bases-clearing double by freshman Zack Collins in an eventual 10-1 Miami victory.
The Canes (18-12, 8-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) have another five-game win streak going, with a three-game road trip at Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia Tech (14-12-1, 5-7) on tap Friday through Sunday.
“It was a good team win,” UM coach Jim Morris said. “…The last half of the first half [of the season] we’ve played pretty well.”
Collins came to the plate in the fourth with Dale Carey (RBI double) on third, Tyler Palmer (RBI single) on second and Willie Abreu (walk) on first. He smacked a 2-2 outside curve, the last pitch of the night thrown by left-handed starter John Sever, into left-center.
Over his past five games coming into Wednesday, Collins, a freshman from Pembroke Pines, was hitting .452 with an .850 slugging percentage. He hit two home runs against N.C. State on Sunday for a six-RBI night, and ranks second in the ACC with his six homers. Abreu, who was 2 for 3 with one RBI Wednesday, is hitting .571 over his past five games.
“I’ve been putting the bat on the ball more, grinding it out with two strikes — not trying to strike out as much and putting the ball in play,” Collins said. “You always have more confidence when you get it together, but it’s still the same mind-set.”
UM senior Javi Salas (2-3, 3.86 ERA) replaced starter Derik Beauprez in the fifth to earn the victory by allowing two hits in three innings. It was only fitting, as Salas, who pitched a perfect game March 4 against Villanova, was the pitcher who previously got shelled by Bethune-Cookman.
“I felt like I had something to prove against them,” Salas said. “Obviously my last outing was disappointing.”
The Wildcats, of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, fell to 15-16.• UM infielder David Thompson, who underwent surgery March 24 for venous thoracic outlet syndrome, watched the game from the UM dugout. Morris said Thompson might be able to join the team in time for the NCAA tournament that begins in late May.